Andrew Love, born May 6, 1940, a native of Norwich, England, took
two bachelors degrees at the University of Bristol, England:
high honors in philosophy and English literature in 1963 and high
honors in philosophy in 1964. (Both, he would later inform/remind
us, were equivalent to masters degrees in America.) He came
to the United States in the mid-1960s for graduate study in philosophy
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. David and I
were graduate students together there. I joined the faculty of Oberlin
College in 1967, and he came to Oberlin in 1970 after appointments
as head of the humanities and social studies department of the Upward
Bound Program at Virginia Union University in the summer of 1968
and as instructor in philosophy at Duke University in 1969-70. Before
that he was a film critic for the Oxford Mail, a British
newspaper. Davids dissertation, for which he passed the preliminary
examinations in May 1969, concerned the concepts of promising and
obligation, with special attention to the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.
His dissertation advisor was Professor David Falk.
extraordinary teaching talent was apparent from the outset. Students,
including the very best students, gravitated to David as to a magnet.
It didnt hurt, of course, that he had a wicked wit, was extremely
personable, obviously fascinated by Oberlin students, and had a
charismatic classroom persona. Students recognized in him a superb
teacher. Several of his colleagues in the philosophy department
and other departments and programs (principally in the late 1970s,
when he was attempting to give shape and direction to the old humanities
program), had occasion over the years to team-teach with David.
All were privileged to observe his unusual ability to draw out students
ideas, from their early, chaotic, formless, incoherent beginnings
through to almost unrecognizably clear, cogent development.
talent, this finding, developing, shaping the quality in others
thinking, also served David in his later administrative work. Many
of the faculty who approached him in his role as grants officer,
with vague, unclear, and not-very-persuasive proposals, walked away
with elegant, polished applications that secured funding in important
competitions. He could even perform this Socratic midwifery (assisting
at the birth of ideas) upon entire faculty committees, a most unusual
talent. In May 1977, David delivered a senior assembly talk by invitation
of the officers of the senior class, an honor extended only to teachers
thought to be the best of the best.
Dean Robert M. Longsworth created a position for David
called consultant to the teaching faculty, recognizing his unusual
abilities as a teacher and as a tactful, diplomatic, congenial colleague.
The way it worked was this: faculty whose teaching could stand a
bit of consulting were brought into contact with David,
who, after reassuring conversations, managed to be invited to observe
their classroom performance. Then David gave advice and consultation,
with good effect. It was all very low key, very informal, but it
recognized both the importance that Oberlin places on high quality
teaching and the unique talents of David Love. Faculty anywhere
will recognize the delicacy of such consulting.
addition to pedagogical mastery, David had an acute philosophical
mind that impressed all who came into contact with itstudents
in classes, seminars, and tutorials; colleagues in team teaching
and in faculty research seminars; and visiting philosophers and
speakers in question-and-answer exchanges. As one of his senior
administrative colleagues would put it, as a philosopher/teacher
David was the real thing.
talents soon led him into academic administrative work. In the early
1970s he was invited to become (one-third time) assistant to Oberlin
College President Robert W. Fuller. Some will remember that time
as a turbulent period in American higher education, a time when
senior academic administrators needed all the help they could get.
David teamed with Karen Burgess Buck 72 in 1972-73 as a recent-graduate/younger-faculty
team that served ably and well.
he became assistant provost (1978-84), associate dean of Arts and
Sciences (1980-86), associate provost (1984-94), director of Sponsored
Programs (1984-2002), and associate vice president, Research and
Development (1994-2002). In these various jobs, he became an astute
budget manager, a thoughtful curricular innovator, an inspired grant
proposal developer, and an effective academic resource-entrepreneur.
think of David merely as a fundraiser or development officer is
to substantially underappreciate the unique combination of qualifications,
talents, and experience that he brought to this work. Imagine what
it must have been like to be a program officer at a private foundation
that aimed to support quality education in the liberal arts and
was David Love, a charming, witty, obviously intelligent and cultured
representative of a leading national liberal arts college who spoke
the gospel of the transformative value of American liberal arts
undergraduate education in a delicious British accent. Furthermore,
he had a reputation as a brilliant teacher and was able to speak
authoritatively of curricular matters from years of having been
elected by the faculty to (and often chairing) the Colleges
Educational Plans and Policies Committee.
In addition, he had detailed knowledge of individual faculty research
interests from working closely with faculty as the grants officer
at Oberlin. Plus, he wasnt just an administrator or grants
specialist or former faculty member. He still taught courses in
philosophy. For a period beginning in the late 1970s, he was partially
released from administrative duties to teach one course each semester.
Later this happened less regularly (but not rarely). Thus David
was an active teaching member of the faculty, not only talking the
was almost unfair. The poor (soon to be poorer) foundation didnt
stand a chance. Among the curricular innovations and improvements
in which David played a central role were the visit of actors from
the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 1970s; the establishment
of the Office of Undergraduate Research; development of Oberlin
abroad programs in London, China, and Strasbourg; the seminar program
for first- and second-year students; and faculty development and
student research and teaching assistantships funded by the Charles
A. Dana Foundation, Inc., Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ronald
E. McNair Program of the United States Department of Education,
Ford Foundation, BP America Corporation, Pew Charitable Trusts,
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. David also played a major role
in establishing and strengthening Oberlins environmental studies,
neuroscience, and East Asian studies programs. Among his most significant
accomplishments was his recent service as science project executive,
in which he initiated and coordinated faculty, staff, student, and
architect efforts to design, plan, and construct the new Oberlin
College Science Center.
1984, when I joined the deans office, David had already been
associate dean for four years. It was great to work closely (again)
with my old, trusted, good friend of almost 20 years. I was able
to rely on not only the many talents mentioned above, but I also
came to appreciate other strengthsDavids solid good
judgment, his editorial acumen, and his understanding of the deeper
curricular and intellectual issues that lay behind what many perceived
to be only faculty politics.
was a member of the board of trustees of the Shansi Memorial Association
and of the Oberlin Early Childhood Center. He was treasurer of the
latter organization from 1990 to 1993 and served as chairman of
its board. Also, he had a life outside of Oberlin. He served in
various capacities with the NSF and the NEH. He led workshops for
the Independent Colleges Association. And he gave lectures and invited
talks at schools and colleges here and abroad.
as any who knew him recognized, David was a gifted writer, a wonderful
story-teller, and a thoroughly entertaining public performer, whether
chairing a faculty round-table discussion at student orientation,
reporting on curricular developments to the board of trustees, or
emceeing the piano departments annual commencement extravaganza.
David had periods of good health which permitted his engaging in
vigorous athletic activities (he was once quoted as saying, I
do not play squash to ensure my health. I play squash to celebrate
my health.), he struggled with illness from the time of his
youth and throughout his life. More than once he had to take sick
leave from his duties at Oberlin. He met these challenges bravely
and uncomplainingly. I believe that this experience gave him a strong
empathy for the challenges and struggles of others. David was an
extraordinary person in many ways. He had a great gift for friendship.
We will miss him.
MacKay is professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy
at Oberlin. This Memorial Minute was adopted by a rising vote of
the General Faculty of Oberlin College on April 16, 2002.